“The reason he’s successful is he has a great leadership style and an eye for talent, but an eye not so much for how a slider breaks but for people who work collaboratively, and he engages them. There’s an element of those soft skills that would cause some people on the baseball side to roll their eyes, because he’s very concerned about the character of players he signs and the atmosphere in the clubhouse. Is the player going to be additive or does he subtract? What I see is someone who treats people well.”

Tom Ricketts on Theo Epstein

Sports Illustrated baseball reporter Tom Verducci writes:

Theo Epstein turns 43 this month. In only 14 years as a chief architect, his teams have won three World Series and made the playoffs five other times. That is beyond a lifetime’s worth of achievements for almost any baseball executive, but it is sui generis when you consider the mythology he conquered three times over. First in Boston and then in Chicago, Epstein won world championships that could not be won in the combined 194 years before he took his turn. His third conquest, which spanned both jobs, was not just ending the war between traditional scouting and the guerilla uprising of analytics but also melding those factions into what he likes to call “a scouting and player-development machine.”

SIMON SAYS METS ROSTER LACKS ‘CERTAINTY’

ESPN baseball writer Mark Simon suggeststhe problem with the Mets is certainty … The Mets certainly have the potential to be very good in 2017. But it’s foolish to think that everything … is going to break the right way for them.

There is a degree of truth in Simon’s statement, but “certainty” is not isolated to the New York Mets. Injuries are an intangible. So is performance, for that matter. But one thing is for “certain,” both have a direct impact on a team’s success on the field. That is true not only for the Mets, but all 32 teams — including the Washington Nationals.